How to Make Natural Candles – Choosing the Best Wax For Making Candles at Home

There are several natural waxes to choose from for your homemade candle.

While paraffin may be natural in that it’s a petroleum-based wax it has been shown to be not so healthy & doesn’t burn clean so I think we can eliminate this wax.

Healthier natural candle waxes are Palm, Beeswax, and Soy & Ghee.

Let’s check out some pros & cons of each of these waxes.

Palm in made from the wax of the berry of the Palm tree. It’s white, all natural, renewable & clean burning.

Palm wax has a unique crystalline structure that is very attractive.

It can hold a very high scent load. Some palm waxes can hold up to twice as much scent as paraffin or soy wax.

Palm wax comes in granular form, is very easy to work with & it pools evenly when lit. It doesn’t need any additives & it cleans up easily with soap & warm water.

Cons of palm wax; the cost of palm wax is a slightly more than Soy wax.

Turning to Soy candle making, this wax has lots of Pros too. It burns long, cool & clean.

Here is a list of advantages a manufacturer gives about their soy wax:

o Made with pure, 100% natural soybeans

o Longer, cooler and cleaner burning without soot buildup

o Made in the USA with domestically grown crops

o Produced containing NO Genetically Modified Material

o Manufactured meeting FDA and Kosher standards

o Easy to clean up with soap and hot water eliminating solvents

o Renewable sustainable resources requiring plant growth

o Biodegradable and free from pesticides and herbicides

o Very stable allowing for long shelf life

o Not subject to animal testing

Cons of soy candles:

It’s stated by some manufactures that soy candles are produced containing no Genetically Modified Material. For most soy waxes this is only true because after processing there is no DNA in the wax left to assess whether the soy beans used were GMO or not. In the United States in 2002, 98% of the soybean harvest was either genetically modified (GMO) or non-GMO mixed in with GMO soybeans. The only reliable source of non-GMO soybeans are Identity Preserved or Certified Organic, these are very few. This means buying soy wax that is not Identity Preserved or certified organic is supporting the biotech industry. This is a disadvantage of soy wax in my opinion. Also I feel soy candles made from GMO soybeans can’t really be called “natural” as their DNA was humanly modified, the fact that the DNA was later removed doesn’t negate that.

Now lets look at Beeswax which has been used for candles since ancient times.

It burns slow & clean & has its own sweet fragrance.

It gives of more light & heat than other waxes & is virtually drip less.

Beeswax is the only fuel to emit negative ions when burning & this process cleans the air of positive ions such as dust, odors, toxins, pollen, mold, dust mites feces, and viruses.

Lighting a beeswax candle inspires a spiritual feeling; they have traditionally been the candles of choice in many churches.

Using a sheet of beeswax & rolling it up with a wick inside is such a simple way to start making candles, a pair of scissors are the only equipment needed. Beeswax candle making with sheets is child’s play.

Poured beeswax candles are just as easy to make as candles make with other waxes.

One con for beeswax is that the price is significantly more than other waxes but this is balanced by the quality it has of burning slower & lasting longer than other waxes. Beeswax can be added to other waxes to increase their burn time. Beeswax candles have their own natural sweet fragrance with which only some aromas will nicely blend. Beeswax can be bought in either a yellow or white color. Some white beeswax may have been bleached & have chemicals added, best check with the supplier.

Bayberry wax is an aromatic greenish vegetable wax that is removed from the surface of the Bayberry by boiling the berries in water and skimming the wax from the surface. Burning a Bayberry candle to the nub during the holidays is a 300-year tradition supposed to bring good luck in the coming year. Bayberry wax is recommended for making dipped tapers only & may not burn well as votive, tea-light or pillar candles.

Bayberry wax costs about 4 times that of Beeswax. It takes 15 pounds of Bayberries to make one pound of wax. It has a warm, earthy fragrance reminiscent of newly mown hay, and dries to a lovely olive green color. A small amount can be added to other waxes to make them harder & impart its green color. This is a pro as there are no other natural colorants for candles apart from the yellow of the beeswax. All natural candles, that is totally natural candles, are white unless they have beeswax or bayberry wax added.

Ghee lamps have traditionally been used by Sikhs & Hindus for thousands of years as a spiritual practice. Lighting the light dispels darkness & brings comfort, hope & peace. Lighting a light with cow ghee specifically is said to ensure radiance & heavenly bliss, prosperity, health & happiness.

Ghee is made from unsalted clarified butter. It is easy to make for one’s self at home or one can buy it from the grocery store. Organic ghee is available. Once one learns to make a container candle one can make a ghee candle. Securing the wick in the middle of the container without glue is the trick. Traditionally the receptacle of the ghee is earthen mud, silver, gold or brass, never stainless steel. The wick traditionally is laid on the bottom of the container & is propped up on the side of the lamp rather than standing up straight in the middle. I have bought a ghee candle made in a small glass jar with a lid that has a central wick & it works fine. I would be very careful about propping the wick on the side of a glass container. Ghee is very soft at room temperature & a liquid when heated so it needs a container. My ghee candle burns without a ghee smell & gives a very sweet feeling. Now I know how to wick the jar I can keep renewing the candle by adding ghee & wicks or I can make a much bigger one that burns longer for the same price as my little store bought candle.

Whichever material you use for your candle, don’t let having to decide which wax delay you making one! Choose a wax & make a candle, its fun, can save you money & using the candles brings bliss.



Source by Jess Woods

How Do You Use Essential Oils to Make "Aromatherapy" Candles?

The term “aromatherapy” is a branch of alternative medicine which claims that the specific “aromas” carried by the essential oils have curative effects. The healing art “aromatherapy” traces back to 4,000 B.C. where the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Persians use to burn herbs and flowers for curative and cosmetic purposes. In ancient Egypt, plant oils were widely used for spiritual relaxation, cosmetics and for embalming and mummification of the dead.

The term “aromatherapy candles” is used loosely in Western societies, because, unlike other cultures, we mainly use “aromatherapy candles” for “aesthetic” qualities vs. healing qualities. We want the calming, soothing aromas to aid in meditation, bathing and relaxing activities.

Natural candles are becoming more popular with the development of natural waxes such as soy wax and palm waxes. There is a greater desire by consumers to go “green” with all natural ingredients in candle making. Using all natural soy wax that is a renewable resource, grown right here in the U.S.A. has gained popularity in the few years, since the development of soy wax in 1998. Soy wax is hydrogenated soybean oil that is non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Combining all natural ingredients, including natural scents, to make an “aromatherapy” candle is highly desirable.

A lot of so called “aromatherapy” candles out on the market today contain paraffin wax (which is a byproduct of the crude oil process) and fragrance oils that are chemically derived. Some major manufacturers have paraffin wax, combined with natural scents. Some have natural waxes combined with chemical derived synthetic scents. My idea of a natural “aromatherapy candle” is one that is all natural. So, what are natural scents? They are essential oils.

Essential oils are volatile parts of plants, trees, fruits and roots that are extracted by various methods: steam distillation, cold-press extraction, chemical solvent extraction and the effleurage method. Essential oils that are “pure” will mostly have their botanical name on the jar, and come in dark colored bottles for protection from sunlight. They should be stored in cool, dark places, and out of reach of children and pets. Other essential oils are blended with carrier oils such as jojoba and are considered “diluted”. Some candle manufacturers sell “essential oils”, but they come in clear plastic containers, and are synthetically derived, or are blended with alcohol or other solvents.

Because of their concentrated nature, pure essential oils can be more expensive than fragrance oils and come in small bottles – drams (1/8 oz), 1/6 oz., etc. They either have a closed lid or a dropper to distribute the essential oils. Price can range from anywhere from $5 to $75 for a fraction of an ounce of pure essential oils.

So, how do you use essential oils in candle making? Good question – and there are many answers to that question, depending on who you talk to. When I originally tried to research this topic a year ago, there was very little information out on the Internet, with candle supply companies, or any e-books I purchased. One year later, there is a wide variety of answers published in articles, candle supply websites, and so-called “candle gurus”. Some experts claim that usage per pound of wax is 1 oz – which is similar to using fragrance oils. Now, 1 oz of pure essential oils can be either incredibly strong or incredibly expensive. Others claim that using as little 3-20 drops/pound of wax.

I personally believe that the aromatherapy candles should use much less essential oils than fragrance oils for two reasons:

1 Style & Taste. When using essential oils in aromatherapy candles, I want a milder, less dominant, natural scent aroma from the essential oils. I don’t want an over-powering Cinnamon Spice fragrance oil aroma that’s going to fill my entire house for days. I want a “natural” candle, because I want a soothing, relaxing, mild, fresh, natural aroma that gives just enough scent to soothe my senses for a beautiful bubble bath, meditation, yoga or Pilates exercises. I don’t want the aroma competing with what I’m trying to achieve – relaxation.

2. Cost. Essential oils are expensive, and cost should be considered when buying and using “pure” essential oils in candle making. First of all one dram (1/8 oz) of 100% pure Peppermint oil (made right here in the U.S.A.) on sale was $5/dram plus shipping. Honestly, do you think you it’s cost effective to use $5 of Peppermint oil in one 8-12 oz. soy candle? I don’t think so, besides, it may be too strong. Fragrance oils (mainly synthetics) can be 10 times less expensive when purchased in bulk. I’ve used blends of essential oils with 1/6 oz. and made three 12 oz. soy candles, and they were perfectly scented. So, it’s the cost/benefit rule you have to apply in determining how much you’re willing to pay to achieve your desired outcome.

Another important consideration in how much essential oils to use in candle making, is using the wax manufacturers guide in how much fragrance/essential oils that the wax will absorb in order to make a safe candle. I primarily use 100% soy waxes for my candle making, and the manufacturers recommendation is to use 3-9% of fragrance oil per pound of soy wax. There are additives which can increase those percentages, but I mainly use 1 oz. of fragrance oil/pound of soy wax, which is approximately 6%. When using essential oils, I use much less than 1%/pound of wax. It all depends on how strong or pure the natural oil is and my taste, of course!

So, with those facts explained, using essential oils is a matter of style, taste and cost. If you are selling your candles, you pass along your costs to the consumer, but hopefully, you can market and price your candles effectively to sell them at a profit. If you are making candles for your own enjoyment, then it’s a matter of what you’re happy with – milder/stronger, and whether cost is a factor for you.



Source by Laureen Falco

The History of Scented Candles

Candles have been an important part of human society for thousands of years. Originally, the only way to possibly see once the sun went down, was from either torches, fires, or candlelight. Torches were not safe indoors, and walking from room to room carrying a portable fireplace with you was not practical or possible. Therefore, candles lit the way. Everything was done by candlelight once the sun set, from carrying out one’s chores, reading, sewing, or even signing the Constitution of the United States.

Candles also had a useful purpose in early China. There, they actually invented a type of calibrated candle called a “candle clock” that was used for keeping time. Weights were inserted into the candle at precise locations, and when the wax melted to a certain level, the weights dropped into a container below and made a noise. Imagine what it would be like to have a candle alarm clock to wake up by (don’t try to hit the snooze button), or to try to time your bread in the stove based on a candle clock?

Originally, candles were not made using the high quality of wax that we have today. Instead, they were made from whale fat in China. Later, Japan learned how to extract wax from squirrels (don’t ask me how). In the Middle Ages, candles were frequently made from the fat of various animals, such as cows and sheep. The smell from manufacturing these types of candles, however, was so horrendous that several cities banned the manufacturing process. Instead, candles were soon made from beeswax, which had a less unpleasant odor. In 1850 paraffin became available commercially, and soon all candles were made from a type of paraffin.

Those who made candles and experimented with various types of materials were called chandlers (from which we get the word today “chandelier”). From the earliest of times, candle makers added scents and fragrances to produce the best scented candles. It started in China with the ‘time clocks”. Incense sticks were often inserted into the wax to add a wonderful aroma. In fact, sometimes the incense was added at particular intervals so that the change in fragrance, rather than the dropping of weights, indicated the change in time. Later, India also discovered the aromatic benefits of using a wax made from boiled cinnamon for their candles. Unlike the use of animal fat, which smelled horrendously during the manufacturing process, the use of cinnamon provided a relaxing and fragrant aroma.

In addition to experimenting with scented candles, some ingenious candle makers also attempted to create a smokeless candle. They understood what such an invention would mean….no more wick means no more flame! No doubt fires starting from candles were a fairly common. Thomas Payne was one such individual. In the late 1700’s he attempted to invent a smokeless candle, but was not able to do so. Benjamin Franklin also started off as a candle maker before he began his political career, and experimented with various types of materials and methods for candle making. However, it would be centuries later before such technology would be pioneered and wickless candles would be available wide spread.

One reason for the delay of scented and wickless candles is because candles were put on the back burner once kerosene lamps were invented. Then, candles almost became completely extinct upon the invention of the light bulb later at the end of the nineteenth century.

However, in the 1980’s and especially in the 1990’s, the rebirth of the popularity of candles became an international phenomenon. This was due partly to their decorative value, but also to their ability to allow the stressed out, modern, over-worked homeowner an opportunity to create a relaxing environment using the aromatherapy of scented candles. At the same time, awareness over air quality and health conditions such as asthma and allergies led to the exploration for a more safe and healthy, environmentally friendly scented candle. Once again, the search for a flameless candle began, and once again, scent, or fragrance, became very important.

Armed with the modern electrical age, the invention of a flameless scented candle became possible. Scentsy is generally credited as the company that invented wickless scented candles in the year 2004 and satisfied the need in the market for a healthy, safe, environmentally clean and fragrant candle that burns a high quality wax without a flame. Instead, a low voltage light bulb uses a decorative selection of ceramic warmers to heat a scented wax bar with a very long life. Scented wax bars can be mixed and matched to create custom scents. This allows each customer to be their own “chandler”, or “candle maker” as they personalize their own candle and candle warmer to suit their individual taste.

Yes, candles have come a long way over the last thousands of years of human history. From burning whale blubber and holding your breath just so you avoid the offensive smell of the candle, to today when people actually buy a scented candle for the main purpose of the wonderful smell it emits, we can all be thankful for the age of enlightenment!



Source by Alisha Byars

Candle Making Projects That You Can Try

The Basic Candle Making Procedure

There are so many different types of candle making procedures that it is hard to choose which one that you want to try. For this reason we are going to go over the basic procedure for each form of wax. We are going to start with teaching you how to make a candle out of crayons.

How To Make A Candle Out Of Crayons

Here is a list of everything that you are going to need for this project:

crayons, if you have crayons around your home that are broken and just lying on the floor then these are great to use for this product. It is also a great way to recycle as most of these crayons would simply be thrown away. Make sure that you take the time to remove all of the paper that is wrapped around the crayons as the paper will interfere with the process.

Boiling bags, you can find these bags at almost any cooking supply store, they are great because they completely eliminate the cleanup process. All that you need to do when you’re done with them is throw the bag away.

Boiling pot, any boiling pot will do for this project.

Wicks and wick tabs.

A glass jar.

Start off with using which ever colors that you want to use for your candle. If you want to mix colors around then you can mix several colors and then simply them into the same boiling bag. If you want to make a layered candle with many different colors than simply put all of the like colors together. For example, if you want to make a candle that is blue, green, and purple then you are going to want to use three boiling bags for that. Put green crayons into one bag, blue crayons into another, and purple crayons into the last bag. You can melt them all at the same time and simply layer the candle as you go.

Put water into the boiling pot and begin to boil the water. As the water is boiling add the boiling bags to the pot. Now wait about 5 to 10 minutes and the crayons will be melted. As you are waiting for the crayons to melt string the wick through the wick tab and glue the bottom of the wick to the bottom of the jar. When the crayons are done melting you can simply pour them into the jar. As you do this make sure that the wick it is not disturbed as you pour the wax.

Not put the jar aside for 24 hours, make sure that it is in a place where it will not be disturbed by children or animals. After 24 hours the candle is ready to use and you are done with this project

How To Make A Candle With Gel

This is a list of the different candle making supplies that you are going to need for this project. You can find most of these supplies in a candle making kit or you can simply buy them individually or find items around your home.

A candle pouring pot – If you do not have a candle pouring pot then do not worry as you can easily use a double boiler instead. If you do not have a double boiler then you can make one at home with a boiling pot and an empty soup can or coffee can.

A carving knife, a thermometer, some gel wax, a zinc wick, wick tab, fragrance oils, color dyes, a metal spoon, a glass container or candle mold, and some newspapers. Ready to begin?

Step # 1. To start the gel candle making process the first thing that you are going to want to do is to choose a work area. Choose a place that is flat, level, and that will not be disturbed by pets or children. Cover this area with newspapers.

Step # 2. Now prepare the wax. Cut pieces of the gel wax in to the top pan of the double boiler, then fill the bottom pan of the double boiler with water. When you have done this then place the double boiler on to the stove top and bring the heat up as you want the water to boil.

Step # 3. As you are waiting for the wax to melt you are going to want to prepare the wick and the mold. Make sure that the mold is free of dust and hair. Now string the wick through the wick tab if this is not already done for you. When this is done then simply put the wick tab at the bottom of the mold. Many people use glue to hold the wick tab in place, this is a great idea as otherwise the wick tab may fall out of place as you pour the gel wax in.

Step # 4. Make sure that you check on your gel wax often and check the temperate with the thermometer. The gel wax should melt at around 200 degrees, you are not going to want it to get too much hotter than that. Stir the wax while it is melting.

Step # 5. When the gel wax is all melted then now is the time to add scented oils and color dyes.

Step # 6. When the wax is all melted here comes the hard part. Pour the gel wax in to the candle mold. Make sure that you take your time and that you do not burn yourself as the wax is very hot. When this is done then simply put the mold to the side in order to let it sit and cool off. Leave it alone and in a place where it will not be disturbed for about 24 hours. When the 24 hours have passed then take the mold and and trim the wick to about a quarter of an inch. You are done!

How To Make A Candle With Paraffin Wax

Here is a list of all of the candle making supplies that you need: a double boiler, some paraffin wax, color dye, scented oils, wicks, wick tabs, carving knife, scissors, metal spoon, thermometer, and a candle mold. You can easily find all of these items online or at an arts and crafts store for fairly cheap. If you want you can make the double boiler yourself using a boiling pot as the bottom pot and an empty soup can as the top pot.

Now clear a surface to work with, make sure it is flat and level and not going to be easily disturbed. Cover the area in newspapers to protect it and make clean up easier. Now when the area is prepared take the carving knife and cut chunks of the wax in to the top pot of the double boiler. Place the top pot on the stove and boil the water. Stir the wax often and check the temperature as it should melt at around 160 degrees.

Now if the wax is melted you can add the scents and color just be sure to mix them in well. When the wax is melted then string the wick through the wick tab and place it in the bottom center of the mold. Pour the hot wax in to the mold but be careful not to burn yourself. Put the mold to the side and let it cool for 24 hours. Now when the 24 hours has passed simply remove the candle from the mold and trim the wick to a quarter of an inch and you are done.



Source by Jason Kinech